When the news was finally confirmed that Luis Suarez was to leave Liverpool, I was gutted.
Yes, I wanted him to go, he is a liability now that he has been in a third biting incident and won't appear until the start of November. However, that was my reaction by last season's instincts.
Suarez's 31 league goals helped The Reds finish to a top two finish for the first time since 2009 and he was vital in the campaign. Nonetheless, as I let the news digest and think about the current situation at Anfield, I almost immediately went back to thinking Liverpool had to sell the Uruguayan.
Brendan Rodgers has already set about replacing Suarez. He's already signed three attacking minded players in Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic. They are all positive moves and all offer different tools to cut through defences.
It is no secret that Rodgers isn't going to stop at that, however. Liverpool have been linked with a number of youngsters including the likes of Belgium aces Divock Origi and Zakaria Bakkali along with Lyon youngster Alexander Lacazette.
Liverpool's manager clearly has a youth policy he implements, with most of his top signings being in the region of 21-24, who are players that not many people are too familiar with. Bar the exceptions of the players Rodgers bought for Premier League clubs, most had not heard of players such as Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho and Emre Can.
The Northern Irishman clearly likes to get players in early whilst they are inexperienced and adopt his style of football on them, drive it into their system like a second language. This has happened with the likes of Coutinho and Raheem Sterling.
Experience is vital
However, Liverpool are becoming such a youthful side that they are missing leaders in the team. Steven Gerrard is now 34 and Rodgers has admitted that he cannot play every game this season, especially with The Reds competing in the Champions League now. Add Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Lucas and Daniel Agger to that list on players who have served more than three years at the club and that's about it.
Youth works in the Premier League, against weaker sides such as Stoke City or Aston Villa, however they will become stuck at times when competing against the best in Europe. More importantly, they are missing world class players to do so.
A change of ways
Liverpool have traditionally been a side who like to develop players into stars at Anfield. It can date back to the likes of Ian St.John, Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalgleish who all arrived when they were young.
In recent times, is has been Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano who have all developed into world class players during their time at Anfield.
However now, Liverpool lack what they have once previously had. Gerrard was class in his deeper role last season, but Rogers has confirmed that The Reds skipper will not be able to feature in every game next season.
This is help the youth to fulfil their potential. Raheem Sterling had Suarez and Gerrard to mentor him last year, which is why he became so good.
Liverpool must raid the top clubs across the world if they are to compete with the best next season. I honestly cannot remember when Liverpool last signed a player from a top club. When they signed Torres, Atletico Madrid were struggling to qualify for the Uefa Cup.
The last signing from a big club was Daniel Sturridge, who was sat on the sidelines at Stamford Bridge when Liverpool bought him from Chelsea.
The Reds cannot follow Tottenham’s mistakes, when they signed four players to try and replace Gareth Bale, all not making a great impression at White Heart Lane. What Liverpool must do is spend the majority of the Suarez money on a player near equivalent of the Uruguayan.
Signing big names
In the past few days, Marco Reus has been rumoured to make the switch from Borussia Dortmund to Liverpool. That would be a perfect signing.
The German plays a similar role as Suarez, netting 16 times last season as well as providing 13 assists. That earned Reus a ranking of eighth best in the world according to whoscored.com, ahead of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is another player who Liverpool should chase after. He showed his class in the World Cup when netting six times and took home the Golden Boot. Although he cost Monaco in the region of £40million last season, he has proven his class on the world stage.
Edison Cavani has also expressed that he would like a move to the Premier League this week. Cavani scored 16 goals for PSG in the 2013-2014 season and could be the answer to Liverpool’s potential goal worries.
Karim Benzema has also been rumoured to leave Real Madrid, and his goals helped the Spanish giants win the Champions League in 2014. His team-mate Isco was frustrated with the lack of first-team opportunities and now they have Toni Kroos on their books, he could be even more limited.
Liverpool have to look at their rivals around them. Chelsea have drafted in Cesc Fabregas and Arsenal have brought in Alexis Sanchez, both from Barcelona. Manchester City are bound to sign a few superstars and Manchester United inch closer to Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal ever7day.
If Liverpool want to develop their young players, they need mentors around them who are the best in the world. Rodgers has made some positive signings already, but Liverpool need a touch of class brought to Anfield. Whether it is Reus, Benzema or Rodriguez, all would fit in and all would make the youth even better.
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